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City seeks Diamond Path solutions

Tim Zemonovic sat pretty much alone in the audience at the Oct. 5 Rosemount City Council meeting. There was little on the agenda. But he had a complaint and needed the council to hear him.

The intersection at 145th Street and Diamond Path is dangerous, he told the council, and needs to be corrected.

"I think we need to correct it before someone gets killed," said Zemonovic.

The council shared his concern even, adding their own stories to the conversation.

"Twice now I've witnessed the brakes locking up," said council member Kurt Bills of incidents at the intersection.

While the council agreed the intersection is dangerous, it can do little about the issue but complain to a higher power. The road, which runs along the Rosemount-Apple Valley border, belongs to Dakota County.

City engineer Andy Brotzler said the crosswalk at the intersection has been a concern for a while and is on the county's radar. The county, the city and representatives from Diamond Path Elementary School had a meeting a few weeks ago to discuss ways to make it safer.

Currently there are sidewalks on both sides of the road which lead to the corner. The corner is a legitimate place for pedestrians to cross but has not been marked as a crosswalk because of safety concerns.

The intersection has been deemed hazardous so, Independent School District 196 buses students from the east side of the road to Diamond Path Elementary School.

County traffic engineer Kristi Sebastian said the road's five lane configuration and the high rate of speed make it a difficult situation. The speed limit on Diamond Path is 45 miles per hour. As the road is currently striped, she said, it is safer to have the crossing unmarked.

However, Dakota County has scheduled to overlay Diamond Path in 2011 which would provide the opportunity to restripe the road with the intent to make it safer for pedestrian and bicycle travel. The school will continue to bus students regardless because of the width of the road and the high rate of speed.

"We are looking at ways we can bring a safe, marked crosswalk to the area," said Sebastian.

Brotzler said discussions have been good and he is hopeful the county will take the initiative to make the intersection better.

"It's heading in the right direction," said Brotzler

The county will approve the Diamond Path project before the end of the year, said Sebastian. She said they will know more then about what the county will do with the striping.

To talk with a representative from the county about traffic concerns call 952-891-7100.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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